The Best Gym Equipment for Abs

by Danielle Clark, Demand Media
    Utilizing your gym's equipment for killer abs doesn't have to be boring.

    Utilizing your gym's equipment for killer abs doesn't have to be boring.

    Getting rid of that muffin-top or flattening your stomach might be easier said than done. Boring abdominal exercises, in which you lie on a mat and look at the ceiling may seem rather uninspiring. Gyms are full of useful equipment just waiting to work your abdominal muscles. To strengthen your core and keep from getting restless with your ab routine, check out some of your gym’s best ab equipment.

    Rowing Machines

    Getting a phenomenal cardiovascular workout does help to burn fat, which tends to settle aroud your stomach. However, if you are going to get a fat burning workout you might as well include one that works your abdominals. A row machine not only works your upper and lower body, but it engages your core muscles to keep the body from injuring itself. Your core muscles include your upper and lower abdominal muscles, your oblique muscles and your lower back. You will get a great cardiovascular workout with the row machine, but you’ll get a total abdominal workout as well.

    Exercise Ball

    The exercise ball, while not common years ago, is in most gyms today. This light weight, large, bouncy ball is a great way to strengthen your abdominal muscles. Abdominal crunches that are usually done on a mat can be modified on the exercise ball. First, sit on the middle of the exercise ball, keeping your feet flat on the ground. Lie back on the ball keeping your torso and thighs parallel to the ground. Either criss-cross your arms over your chest or place your hands behind your head. While contracting your abdominal muscles, raise your torso until your shoulders lift from the ball. Lower and repeat two sets of 15 to 20 reps.

    Medicine Ball

    A medicine ball is a weighted ball the size of a basketball, give or take a size. Medicine balls have been around for years and can usually be found by the free weights and ab equipment in gyms. There are several abdominal exercises that involve the medicine ball, one of which is the medicine ball tap. The medicine ball tap should be performed standing up with knees bent slightly and feet shoulder-width apart. With your back 2 feet away from a wall, hold a medicine ball with both hands; arms stretched out in front of your chest. Start with the ball in front of you, slightly bend arms and rotate at the waist to the right until the ball touches the wall behind you. Rotate to the center then rotate your waist to the left. Rotate to the center to finish the rep. Do 15 reps in all.

    Captain’s Chair

    A captain’s chair is a large piece of equipment used mainly for working the oblique muscles and the rectus abdominis, the muscles located from the rib cage down to the pubic bone. To use the captain’s chair, grip the handholds on both sides, resting your forearms on the pads. Stabilize your body and dangle your feet. Lift your knees towards your chest slowly and with control. Bring your knees as close to the chest as possible and return them to the start position. Repeat two sets of 10 to 15 reps.

    About the Author

    Danielle Clark has been a writer since 2009, specializing in environmental and health and fitness topics. She has contributed to magazines and several online publications. Clark holds a Bachelor of Science in ecology and environmental science.

    Photo Credits

    • Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images